4th time processing - getting better

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mrs. K, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I am getting better. It still takes some gumption to just go do it. But today, my daughter was with me, and she was impressed how fast I did three.

    I wash and wash. Pluck and pluck.... but the carcass does not look as pretty. There is no way I am going to get one of those big pluckers for a few head a year, but is there any other options? I have seen something attached to a drill, has anyone tried them?

    How do you get all the feathers and hairs out?

    These were out of my bielefelder rooster, seemed big enough when fully feathered. Pretty small carcass when plucked.

    I am aging the carcasses in the fridge a few days before I freeze them.

    My granddaughter being served roast beef for supper asked "where is the chicken? "
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm determined to process one all by myself here in the next few weeks. I've done it with Honey, but for some reason I just feel I need to do at least one start to finish. We've always skinned our birds, but I want to pluck. I figure since it will be just me and I'll have literally all day, I can take my time and rest and re-dunk if needed. I'm thinking to try it in the kitchen, but since I've not plucked before is that not feasible? Too messy? I can set up a table outside, but I don't have a good way to heat water outside so the dunking will need to be on the indoor stove.

    I wanted to get a plucker made this summer, but it just didn't happen. I've looked at the drill attachments, but they seem so messy and send feathers all over the place. maybe someone on the meat bird forum would have input.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    For sure on the gumption......
    ......not sure if its the killing or all the work to set up and clean up.
    Good for you!
    You ate your new rooster?!?

    Any pin feathers are a PITA, I usually have to squeeze them out d.
    Sometimes scraping hard with a butter knife will push them out, it's tedious.

    The hairs, and any remaining feathers, can be burned off with hand held propane torch.
    My torch didn't work so good so I ended up just pulling most of them out by hand during final rinse/parting out in the kitchen. Wonders if one of those culinary butane torches would work?


    Scalding is messy, I don't think I would do it in the house, lots of water dripping when you pull them out of scalder pot.

    I turn up my water heater and it gets up to about 140F, then I heat up to 150F on a propane burner.
    Friend told me recently she just uses boiling water and tempers it with tap water.
    I was thinking of starting with my 140F the adding boiling water out of teakettle to bring it up for doing just,
    one instead of screwing with the propane(which I have to borrow as I don't own one... yet).

    Luckily my laundry tub is within 30 feet of where I harvest in the garage, so carrying water is pretty easy with a few trips.


    Just some thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I guess I do have an outdoor propane burner available, I've just never used it. I'm kind of a pyrophobe and never messed with the propane much, but hey--learning new skills is good!

    I could easily heat the water inside, though, past temp and then carry it outside and let it cool down to the 150ish. I do have a candy thermometer so should be able to monitor temp. And like I said, since it will just be me, doing one bird for the whole day, it's not a biggie if I have to re-heat.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Hard to wait to reheat tho...I time everything around the heat of the scalding water because I want the bird in that water the minute it's bled out.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Beware of too hot water,as it cooks the skin on the wings.

    If you have a double sink inside, put your pot of water in one sink and drain in the other. I use the propane burner outside in an open garage, to old to carry big pots of boiling water. I heat the water, go catch and cull the birds, come back and add cold to proper temp,.
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    At Art not my new rooster, his sons
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Until we got the outdoor propane camp stove, we heated water and carried it outside. Never again! I love having the camp stove. I wouldn't pluck indoors because somehow the wet, stinky feathers end up all over the place. Probably because I shake them off when they stick to my hands. [​IMG] We use a small propane torch to singe the little hairs off the skin. I usually end up squeezing the pinfeathers out like Aart does.
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    So I kept the three in the fridge for 4 days, made one for supper last night, and other two in freezer. Much more tender than in the past. Did an oven fry.

    I did use the butter knife and that helped, and I also used some tweezers.

    11 eggs hatched, 3 pullets! Some that I thought were pullets are now in the rooster grow out pen, 5 more to do in a couple weeks. Oh the life of a crazy chicken lady.

    Mrs K
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Rachel, I strongly advise you against processing your bird in the house. It is super messy. I also strongly advise you against carrying that hot water outside. It's heavy, and you run the risk of a serious burn. Have you and hubby ever plucked a bird before? You gotta get the temp just right, gotta get the scalding time just right. It's helpful if you put some dish soap in the scalding water to help it penetrate the feathers. I hang my bird from a clothes line, or on a nail on my deck, with a trash can underneath to catch the feathers. You want the bird hanging at about shoulder height so you don't stress your joints from bending over, or reaching up too high. Once you get that bird scalded, there should be no need to reheat the water. I did my first solo processing this year, and find, that if I'm working alone, It's so much easier to skin them. Do you know anyone who has a camp stove? Those are perfect. Or do you have a gas grill with a side burner? Ours has a 20# limit, and I'm sure that the amount of water you'd need for dunking is probably more than that. But, you could start with hot tap water and boil water as needed on your side burner. I do the skinning and evisceration outside, then drop the bird into a cooler full of ice water. When I'm done for the day, I bring the birds inside, and do a final clean up, washing, trimming, cut them up, and bag them in the kitchen. I wrap all of the bone ends in paper towel to help absorb any moisture, and to keep them form piercing the bag. I'm horribly slow. Takes me about 45' to process one bird. Having a good sharp knife is key. My tolerance and knife sharpness are good for about 3 birds at a time.
     

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